RE/MAX January 2013 Newsletter, #2

-A second January Newsletter?

-Buying real estate in Honduras – The tale of ‘two countries’

-Some new hot deals

-New Listings

-Need some travel guidance? Try here; a great guide for places to go and things to do.


-A second January Newsletter?

I know, I all but never put out two newsletters in the same month but I write these a little at a time , normally over about a month’s period of time and then send them out. That said we seem to have so much going on that with many of you coming down on vacation I thought that since I have a fair amount already written, that we had some very nice new listings and hot deals that I would get out another edition now.


For the majority of my time here on the island (we’re starting our 14th year) the focus has been here on Roatan.  Due to market conditions and a less than 40 mile distance we have gradually taken on some property marketing on the Mainland of Honduras, mostly on the north coast directly across from Roatan.  Since we started this I have received a fair amount of questions regarding property purchases ‘across the water’.


– Buying real estate in Honduras – The tale of ‘two countries’

Have you ever been to eastern Canada or do you live in eastern Canada?  Historically Canada has been two countries in one.  As you travel northeast in Ontario you eventually get to the province of Quebec. Highway signs make the transformation from English to French as do all the signs in the province for stores, street signs, directional information. It is like leaving one county and going to another.

I present the above comparison in that many understand that the country of Canada is two very different cultures. It is much the same in many ways in Honduras.  The ‘mainland’ of the country of Honduras is part of what was originally the ‘new world’ and part of the Spanish claimed territories ‘back in the day’ of Christopher Columbus.  This large area included Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, & Costa Rica. The Bay Islands (62 islands and keys which include Roatan, Utila, Guanaja) were originally part of the British Empire.

Today, similar in many ways to Montreal and Ontario, the ‘mainland’ of Honduras and the Bay Islands are two contrasting cultures. Although they are parts of the same ‘country’, culturally there are large differences. The Bay Islands are mostly English speaking where U.S. dollars are easily exchanged and/or spent. On the mainland, Spanish is mainly spoken and the National Honduran currency, the ‘Lempira’, is pretty much what you have and use.

In the world of real estate there are also large differences both operationally and legally.

The Bay Islands REALTORs are modeled after the U.S. versions of doing things with a ‘contract for sale’ or an ‘agreement for sale’ whereas the mainland utilizes what is called a ‘Promesa de Venta’, (a Promise to Sell).  The Bay Islands has had a functioning real estate association that is bound to the ‘National Association of REALTORs’ Code of Ethics and has had an MLS for over ten years. The Mainland has had a much ‘looser’ real estate organization and a relatively new MLS system.  Both situations are in their infancies as compared to much of the civilized western world but if you are North American you may be a bit more comfortable with the way REALTORs in that Bay Islands operate though it should be noted that there are some great real estate professionals on both sides of the water.

In the past four years the real estate ‘market’  itself  has gone through similar reactions as most other warm weather locations in the U.S.,  the Caribbean and Central America has, that being a major adjustment southward.  For years here many clients, (about 70% of the sales registered), purchased vacant land.  From about 1999 to 2007 land prices increased by 10 to 15% annually. It now has readjusted to approximately 2002 levels making it a real bargain in most instances.  There are cases of sales in 2012 that happened at less than what developers were selling for at the beginning of the decade.

These new prices have opened the market to far greater number of people who now have the ability to purchase property now for very little comparatively, and ‘land bank’ it for future retirement use or as an investment where they are able, once again , to ‘buy low’. Traditionally land is a very conservative investment and over the long term, (when not purchased at inflated or ‘bubble’ prices), will do just fine.

Some new hot deals-

A building in West End (needs some TLC) where almost nothing is for sale near the main strip let alone at a good price. This property is only $150,000 and has +/- 10% ROI, then we have 8.7 acres of land on West Bay Road that would have been $35K an acre four years ago for only $99,000, a quality home site that is half what it sold for in 2004, a hotel with a 75% occupancy rate and a 4.5 of 5 rating on ‘Trip Advisor’, and a beach front lot for only $38,000.   ,2

New Listings

A really spectacular building site for those that want it all. The ‘Enchanted Forest’-

How about a top quality condo unit at a bargain $172,000 price-

Hot deal on cool condos, your choice of two 2br/2ba units, $189K to $220K-

A great home in a secluded but ‘close-in’ location-

574 feet of beautiful beach, for a small development or spectacular estate home site-

Three very nice mid-island view lots at valued prices-,2


-Need some travel guidance? Try here; a great guide for places to go and things to do.

Thanks and hope to see you soon.

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